When a school says it hasn't got a bullying problem.

Would you believe them?

21 to 32 of 32 messages
25/09/2012 at 10:39

There are so many forms of bullying. My niece was bullied "silently," whereby one nasty girl in her class managed to convince all of the other girls to ignore her, all day, every day, for the last two years of her time at that school. The others complied out of fear; they didn't want to find themselves at the receiving end of that horrible treatment.

The school actually did try to deal with the problem, but "ignoring" turned out to be a very difficult thing for my niece to prove - and it was never really dealt with. It was an upsetting time and my niece changed from a very sweet, kind child into an aggressive and troubled young girl. She also tried to "pass on" the behaviour by trying to pick on my daughter in the same way.

I think the biggest problem in that school - and possibly others, was that the focus was on the victim of the bullying. She was offered advice on how to tell an adult, or ask for help from a classmate, or take up a hobby outside of school in order to meet new friends.

Surely it is the bully who needs the help? Picking on another child to make themselves feel better must be a sign of something inside them that needs some work - and if they never have their behaviour checked they will continue to do it, possibly right up into adulthood. Meanwhile their victims also go on to become "mini-bullies," spreading the hurt that they were subjected to.

I have had experience of adult bullying too, through my career in the military. It was a constant display of all the most cruel aspects of human nature. I knew one young boy who took his own life following the taunts and jeers - so I know that bullying is not something that the victim needs to "get over" or "deal with." It is something that needs to be dealt with by responsible employers, whose duty it is to protect all of their workforce. Perhaps if our schools can find a better way to deal with it then there will be fewer adult bullies around - though that is probably wishful thinking.

Sorry for the long post, something I feel strongly about.

25/09/2012 at 11:12

Springle - interesting post. However, I think that parents have to take the most responsibility for developing sensitiveand emotionally intelligent young people.

25/09/2012 at 11:58

I didn't experience bullying at school, nor do I remember it happening to others.  

One colleague did try to bully me years ago, but I put her straight by throwing a book at her head

These days there seem to be new means to bully amongst kids - facebook, twitter, etc.  I grew up in a less techie era.

25/09/2012 at 12:01

Good point Wilkie. FB, Twitter, etc, we have to pick up the pieces of cyber bullying during the school day but, again, I would say that parents bear the bulk of the responsibility for allowing their youngsters access to modern media.

25/09/2012 at 12:18

Wilkie you do have a valid point. Bullies certainly know who to pick on, and we need to educate people to be less than easy prey, being assertive (or throwing a book at someone) is a worthwhile life skill.

25/09/2012 at 12:20
The Egyptian Toe wrote (see)

I would say that parents bear the bulk of the responsibility for allowing their youngsters access to modern media.


impossible to stop this.

if you try and prevent your child having access they'll be bullied for that reason alone. and freely talked about because others will know they know nothing about it.

25/09/2012 at 12:37

I agree that it is mainly the responsibility of parents ET, but I do think that it is possible for parents to be blissfully unaware that their children are misbehaving.

We have often heard the "Not my little Johnny/Katie, they would never do anything like that," from parents who utterly refuse to accept that the child who is perfectly well behaved at home might be acting up at school.

It was a big fear of mine after my niece was trying to make my daughter miserable; that my daughter would then go into school and try to dish out the hurt to someone else. I met with her teacher a few times to talk about it, and also talked very openly to my daughter about it too - not in an accusatory way, but children are a lot better at understanding these issues than we think. It was painful to admit, but the truth is any child can be a bully - we need to stop assuming that other children will be the perpetrators and that ours will be the victims. Quite often bullies have been victims themselves and just lack the ability to process the pain they are feeling.

I don't know if my daughter would have become a bully if I had just left things as they were, but I am glad I stepped in when I did. She understands now why people are cruel to others sometimes, and that making someone else sad won't make you happier.

seren nos    pirate
25/09/2012 at 18:17

its ok saying that parents have the main part to play..............this is true.but lets also remember there is a small percentage of parents who are even more crap at parenting that the average............

these children might be bullies or victims...........and they need to be helped out of the circle........

and as a parent i have got children who have both been bullies and who have been bullied.......neither is great for a parent ..........to be honest to know your kid is a bully is worse to hear as it carries with it a bigger degree of guilt

25/09/2012 at 21:18
Seren - I work in a special school for boys with behavioural problems. In my experience, the problems are , almost without exception, rooted in 'bad' parenting but I really do deal with the' bottom end' of society. That said, as the parent of two feisty little girls, I know that parenthood is not exactly a dot-to-dot process!
02/10/2012 at 15:08

Bullying happens. Sure there will always be some individuals who are more dominant thna others, who like to hear their own voices etc, but that isn't bullying. Bullying is regular and planned campaign that is intended to reduce the reslience and self esteem of a victim, to make the perptrator feel better.

 

Schools and workplaces that say that it doesn't happen, worry me. A vulnerability due to turning a blind eye?

 

seren nos    pirate
02/10/2012 at 17:09
The Egyptian Toe wrote (see)
Seren - I work in a special school for boys with behavioural problems. In my experience, the problems are , almost without exception, rooted in 'bad' parenting but I really do deal with the' bottom end' of society. That said, as the parent of two feisty little girls, I know that parenthood is not exactly a dot-to-dot process!

Egyptian Toe.my son went to a specialist residential school for behaviour problems...having been there and being chairman of the governors there for several years i can state that there is a lot of parents who are not in the bad parenting mould.....a lot of kids are there because of family circumstances but a lot were there despite the efforts of parents............

maybe its different where there is other problems as well as behaviour.but i spent a number of years prior to attending that school with other adults looking down at me for the behviour of my son....whilst knowing i spent ten times more time and energy working on strategies etc than they would ever dream of spending with the kids......

02/10/2012 at 21:31

Its all too east to lay the blame at parenting, and it suggests that schools have little or no influence over our children, which we know to be untrue.


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